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Archive for March, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

I’m up bright and early this morning to announce the winner of my The World is Fat by Barry Popkin giveaway. Congratulations to…

Leah of Simply Fabulous !

I’ll be e-mailing Leah for her address so that I can get her book in the mail soon.

Thanks again to everyone who entered! Your healthy living tips were all very helpful.

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Yesterday was a really, really good day. Well, minus the 8 hours I spent at work. 🙂

I started the day with my very first yoga practice from Yogadownload.com. I chose Gentle Hatha #1, one of the free 20 minute downloads from the site. It was just the right length to fit into my busy morning schedule. My mind and body felt awake, refreshed and ready to start the day.

Breakfast was cereal with organic skim milk (not pictured because of poor 5:30AM lighting) and a Horizon Organic lowfat milk box in the car (not pictured because driving and photographing is dangerous.) 😀 Can you tell my body has been craving milk lately?

I spent the morning sipping Lipton Red Rose tea and plenty of cold water.

Lunch was organic whole wheat thin spaghetti topped with homemade meat sauce (leftovers from last night’s dinner).

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First afternoon snack was a Honeycrisp apple. My favorite! No picture because there was a sudden congregation near my desk and I didn’t want an audience for the photography session.

Second afternoon snack was courtesy of a coworker. She passed around Jell-o Sugar Free Banana Fudge Supreme cups and a can of Light Cool Whip. Healthy? No. Delicious once-in-a-while treat? Absolutely.

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My coworker and I both worked through our lunch hours and left at 4PM to attend a fun foodie/charity event called Empty Bowls. It’s a national fundraiser who’s main goal is fighting hunger.

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We arrived about 15 minutes after the doors opened and it was already packed! First, we waited in line to select our bowl. All of the gorgeous pottery pieces are handmade by local artists and students from Wittenberg University.

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It was so hard to choose just one! I actually ended up with the 2nd bowl I picked up because I loved the shape and the colors of glaze.

My bowl:

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Coworker’s bowl:

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We then paid ($15 each) and got in another line for the food to fill our bowl. My coworker had an interesting observation about how similar these lines were to those you would see in a soup kitchen except that the lines at this event were made up of prominent businessmen and businesswomen, local political figures and Average Joe’s with big hearts and a little money to spare. I didn’t get a picture of the mass of people because there was just no good angle without someone standing directly in front of me. It was quite impressive. I think we were actually in this second line for about an hour.

Part of the serving table:

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Once we got to the buffet servers, we had to choose a soup to fill our bowl. Each one was donated by a different local restaurant. The choices were Vegetable, Potato Leek, Bowtie Pasta, Chicken Avgolemono (Greek), Chili, Broccoli Cheddar and Mariachi Chicken. They all looked and smelled DELICIOUS. My coworker and I both chose the Mariachi Chicken which was donated by my favorite Mexican restaurant! It was actually more of a layered dish than a soup. First, I had to spoon their “house” rice (OMG so good) into the bottom of my bowl. Then, there was shredded chicken with onions, mushrooms & peppers to put on top. The broth for the soup was then ladled over the top of those things and the whole concoction was topped with fresh, homemade pico de gallo.

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There was also a mini-salad bar with mixed greens and various toppings. I chose banana peppers, black olives, a little cheese and homemade Ranch dressing. I had a Texas Roadhouse roll on the side, but ended up not using the butter.

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We were chatting and eating when my coworker spotted the dessert table. Of course we had to check it out! I had the peanut butter chocolate cake. The piece was small which was a good thing because it was REALLY rich. I savored every bite.

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When we finished eating, volunteers from the event washed our bowls for us and brought them back. Leaving with an empty bowl is meant to be symbolic of the astounding number of people who go every day without food.

GIVEAWAY REMINDER: This is your last chance to enter my book giveaway for a copy of The World is Fat by Barry Popkin!

In other bloggie giveaway news, Rose over at On a Lobster Placemat is giving away a Quaker Robe & Slipper set.

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I got so wrapped up in blog reading and commenting yesterday that I forgot my own post. Oops! So, here are Tuesday’s eats:

Breakfast didn’t look great, but it tasted good. This was part of what was in my lunch bag when I left it in the fridge. No worries. though. Day old (refrigerated) yogurt with Bear Naked Fit granola and blueberries is a little mushy, but a-ok.

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***PRODUCT REVIEW***

Stonyfield Farm Organic Lowfat Yogurt

The lovely Kristin of Stonyfield Farm sent me some extra coupons along with those for the Oikos and I advantage of a few at the grocery last weekend. I thought this plain yogurt was really good. The taste reminded me a little bit of Greek yogurt which I LOVE so that was cool. The texture was really smooth and it mixed well with my add-ins. The combination left me feeling full for several hours which is rare for my tummy. I’m glad the tub is big because I plan on incorporating it in for more breakfasts very soon.

One serving = 1 cup (227g)

Calories: 120
Total Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodium: 150mg
Potassium: 530mg
Total Carbohydrate: 15g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Sugars: 15g
Protein: 10g

Ingredients: CULTURED PASTEURIZED ORGANIC LOW FAT MILK, PECTIN, VITAMIN D3. CONTAINS OUR EXCLUSIVE BLEND OF SIX LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES INCLUDING L. ACIDOPHILUS, BIFIDUS, L. CASEI AND L. RHAMNOSUS.

Tuesday turned into a blah day after my adventure with new yogurt. I don’t remember too many details.

Lunch was ravioli.

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Post-“workout at work” snack: a juicy anjou pear. (NOTE: Pampered Chef’s apple slicer works perfectly on pears, too!)

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Another afternoon snack: celery sticks and Sabra hummus with hot sauce:

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Right before leaving work I had a Blueberry Crisp Clif bar. It’s one of my favorite flavors. I’m allergic to artificial blue coloring (which is in more things than you would think) so I’m glad these are natural. They’re deliciously fruity and crispy, all at the same time.

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After seeing what I ate during the day, it’s probably no surprise that I wasn’t too hungry come dinner time. Eggs sounded good so we had sammies. Mine was egg, cheese, a little corned beef (heated in the microwave to kill the listeria bacteria) and mustard all on low-cal wheat bread. WordPress is being funky for me today and it won’t upload the rotated picture. Here it is all sideways like:

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Be sure to check back tomorrow. I’m a attending a foodie event tonight and I’m really excited about sharing it with you all!

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I was so proud of myself yesterday. Well, actually Sunday evening. I normally plan my lunch and snacks the night before, but wait until the following morning to pack them in a hurried frenzy. This week I decided to try packing everything the night before and putting my lunch bag in the refrigerator for a faster grab-and-go morning. Pretty basic, right.

Not for this girl. I left the bag in the refrigerator Monday morning, rendering myself foodless for the day. Fortunately, I had already scheduled a lunch date with my friend so I was really only lacking snacks.

I got hungry around 10AM and scrounged in the work kitchen until I found some mixed nuts to munch on to get me through until lunch. We walked to the adorable little downtown diner for our favorite lunch ever! The owner of the cafe calls us when she puts this on her menu for the week so we can make sure to get there. Aloha Chicken Salad on a croissant with a small side salad and (a new to us side) fruit soup! Pure heaven and I was beyond full until well into the evening. Unfortunately, my camera battery was weak and all the pictures turned out too poor for posting. I promise I’ll have pictures of this meal later as it’s a frequent part of their spring & summer menu.

***BEAUTY PRODUCT REVIEW***

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Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Cream Lip Balm

I am a lip balm addict. Right now I have 8 in my desk drawer at work, 4 in my car and 6 in my purse. One of my favorite new discoveries has been this wonderfully tropical lip treat made by Alba Botanica. Here are the product standards and ingredient list as posted on the company website:

Standards
• Hypo-allergenic
• No artificial colors, petrolatum, mineral oil, phthalates or parabens.
• 100% vegetarian ingredients and no animal testing
• No animal testing
• 82% certified organic ingredients

Ingredients
Organic cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, organic ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, organic beeswax, coconut flavor, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, organic simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed wax, ammonium glycyrrhizate, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, organic prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, tocopherol and tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, allantoin, glycine soja (soybean) oil.

Alba also has a pretty sweet environmental commitment which you can read about here.

Here are my thoughts:

I’m a big fan of coconut so this flavor is right up my alley. It’s very natural and tropical, not overly perfumey or sweet. There are teeny tiny little beads of some kind that help exfoliate dry skin on the lips. They feel really good when you have chapping from sun, cold or wind. The moisturizing ingredients work amazingly well and leave my lips feeling silky for longer than many other lip balms. It’s almost like giving my lips a drink every time I use it! This product retails for $3.49, but I’ve found it on sale occasionally at both Target and CVS Pharmacy. I’d highly recommend this product to anyone who likes coconut and lip balm. 🙂

Giveaway Reminder: You still have until midnight EST on Friday, March 27th to enter my giveaway for a copy of The World is Fat by Barry Popkin. One entry just for commenting on the original giveaway post and an extra entry if you link back to the giveaway from your own blog. Happy entering!

In other giveaway news, Monica from Run, Eat, Repeat and Kristin of Kristin’s Nibbles are eac giving away an All Natural Gift Bag from Quaker.

Heather @ The Hungry Yogini has 3 jars of Barney Butter for her latest giveaway.

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  • The average American uses 150 gallons of water every day.
  • 1 in 6 people on Earth do not have access to safe drinking water. 😦

How can you help?

  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water. It helps our planet and gives you a really great excuse to buy a cute, reusable bottle. WIN-WIN in my book! 😀
  • Be conscious of the water you use and try to reduce your consumption.
  • Share information about water conservation with your friend.

In honor of this special day, Nubius Organics (LOVE ’em) is offering 20% off all reusable bottles, including those that are already on sale. Just enter promo code WWD20 at checkout. The offer is good through March 23rd, so hurry!

Here’s a recap of my eats from the past two days:

Friday

I woke up STARVING because I didn’t eat much of a dinner last night. Two Kashi waffles with a little butter and lite maple syrup filled me right up. I’d really like to start posting pictures of my first-thing-in-the-morning meals. It’s still dark when I leave the house so I can just never get the lighting right.

I ate the last bit of my strawberries after getting settled in at my desk.

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I ate what was supposed to be my lunch about an hour and a half before workout time. Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger, a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese and lettuce all on a La Tortilla Factor EVOO Tomato & Basil Softwrap. Here it is pre-rollup.

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I was trying to decide what to do about being lunchless when my coworkersaid she was calling in an order to the fancy hotel bistro across the street and would pick it up after our workout. Clearly, it was meant to be. 🙂

Our workout at work today had tougher cardio stations than normal and I could feel the burn. My favorite exercise today was the BOSU trainer plank. I was grateful to have food on the way when I returned because I was hungry.

I had the spicy vegetarian rice rolls. All I can say is HOLY WASABI! They came with a veggie blend (tossed in balsamic vinegar) and their homemade chips. I ate everything except the onions from the veggie salad and about 1/2 of the chips. I’m a little worried that these will become an addiction. They were sooooo good.

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I had an afternoon craving for something sweet, but the only thing available in the office was candy. I ran over to the cafe across the street for a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie and ended up with a cup of unsweetened raspberry iced tea, too.

It always feels so good to leave work on a Friday evening. There’s just something so exciting and freeing about knowing you have those 2 days ahead of you for fun. I called a few close friends and family members during my commute to share our baby news. Everyone was thrilled and offered lots of encouragement.

I wasn’t even a little bit hungry for supper. I had toast with butter and jam at some point, but no photo because I was really into the Ohio State vs. Siena basketball game. The outcome didn’t help my bracket any, but man that was a good game! I’m not usually a big fan of basketball on TV, but that’s changed a bit since I’m in the office pool this year. 🙂

Saturday

I slept in a little and was worried that the grocery would be crazy busy since I was going a couple hours later than normal. I ate some Kashi waffles and was out the door.

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The grocery was actually quite peaceful. I had freedom to browse without being crowded or pushed along by the flow of cart traffic. This resulted in some new products which I’ll be reviewing here soon.

After the grocery, I stopped at the bank and then the local coffee shop for a light iced java chip frappe. It’s one of my favorites.
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By the time I’d put groceries away, I was hungry for lunch. I tried something new and made my organic whole wheat couscous in the microwave per the directions from the box. It worked perfectly! Actually, I think it turned out even better than on the stovetop. I added some black beans and Tastefully Simple Mild Red Pepper Salsa.

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I also had VeggiePatch Veggie Nuggets with mustard for dipping.

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After lunch, I headed outside to do some reading for my Nutrition & Wellness Consultant at-home study. That’s where I spent most of the afternoon into early evening. The sunshine felt great! We didn’t have an “official” dinner. I just did a repeat of lunch because it was so yummy and then hung out with my husband until time for bed.

Just FYI, this is where I’m blogging and blog reading today:

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I have some water (in my reusable bottle of course) and fresh iced sun tea for refreshment. Those are clothes drying on the line in the background. That’s one of my favorite parts of warm weather. I love the way they feel and smell. The real perk is that it’s more eco-friendly than the dryer. Plus, it cuts down a LOT on our electric bill.

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Who wants to win something?!?

For my 2nd giveaway, I’m offering up a hardcover copy of The World is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race by Barry Popkin.

I was extremely fortunate to win this book from a giveaway hosted by Kelly at Every Gym’s Nightmare. I’ve read it and thought the content was very interesting. It’s dense with facts, statistics, case studies and commentary regarding the obesity epidemic that faces our entire world.

This book is just too good to keep to myself. That’s why I’m paying Kelly’s generosity forward and offering my fabulous Up Fit Creek readers the chance to win and read for themselves.

To enter:

Comment on this post by midnight EST on Friday, March 27, 2009 and share your favorite tip for living a healthy lifestyle.

Those of you who have your own blog can get an extra entry by linking back to this post by the contest deadline. Be sure to let me know in your comment that you have done so.

Yes, that means you have a whole week to comment and link back! I’ll review the entries and randomly draw a winner on the Saturday after the deadline.

Good luck to everyone!

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Yesterday was a frustrating day for a few reasons. Luckily, it ended on a great note.

I splurged all of my caffeine allowance for coffee day and ordered a large frozen skim latte with sugar free hazelnut syrup and a scoop of protein powder. I drank it pretty fast and definitely felt the buzz.

Breakfast was where things got frustrating. Well, it actually started on Tuesday and just continued into my Wednesday. For some reason, my coworkers all suddenly feel the need to critique my food and tell me how gross it is. Tuesday, it was tofu. No fewer than 6 people stopped me on my way from the microwave to my desk. The conversations all went something like this:

Coworker: What IS that?
Me: Tofu. Would you like to try a piece?
Coworker: Gross! Yuck! Disgusting! Nasty! Gag! How in the world can you eat that?
Me: Have you ever tried tofu?
Coworker: No! I can’t even imagine. It’s awful.
Me: *walking away*

Very few people in my office have any concept of healthy eating or exercise nor do they care about either. Most of them are female and older than me by at least 20 years or so. Several of them have health issues which could benefit greatly from a more healthy lifestyle.

Save three of four people, my coworkers aren’t the easiest to get along with and they tend to be extremely nosy. I try to be pleasant, respectful and cordial at all times. While I do often notice their unhealthy food choices, it’s none of my business and not for me to judge. I can’t imagine walking up to someone and telling them how disgusting the food they were about to eat looked. I just wish they would show me the same courtesy.

…which brings us to breakfast yesterday morning. I made up a packet of Quaker Simple Harvest Vanilla, Honey, Almond oatmeal. Then, I stirred in a couple handfuls of blueberries and some unsweetened coconut.

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One coworker was pouring herself a cup of coffee while I was mixing this up in the work kitchen. She turned her nose up and asked, in a disgusted voice, “What IS that?” I tried not to sound annoyed and replied back simply. “It’s oatmeal.” “Oh,” she said. “That’s not what it LOOKS like.” She then huffed away, mumbling under her breath, and proceeded to tell other people how gross my food was. Of course, they all had to come over, check it out and share their opinions. My boss said it looked like “horse food.”

Vent over. Just needed to get that out there.

Around noon the IT people came down to swap out my hard drive. This left me computerless until about 3:00. While it was down I took a brisk 15 minute walk to soak up the sunshine, filed, wiped my desk down, wrote my to-do list and tidied up my office.

Somewhere in there I ate my lunch of leftover buffalo chicken, a Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese wedge and lettuce all on a La Tortilla Factory EVOO Tomato & Basil Softwrap.

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I also had a snack. Kashi TLC Roasted Vegetable crackers and another Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese wedge.

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Shortly before I left, I had a juicy plum to hold me over until dinner.

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Dinner was a rare weeknight meal out. I met a friend at Dakota’s Roadhouse. We were so wrapped up in conversation that I forgot to photograph my house salad with bacon tomato dressing and a baked potato with cheese, bacon & sour cream. We were all geared up for dessert, but they only had 3 choices and nothing looked good.

I got home a little before 9, watched Criminal Minds with my husband and headed to bed. That show always creeps me out and then I have trouble sleeping.

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